I'm getting married at Moon Dance Villas on May 29, 2010. We have reserved the entire resort for 4 days and all of our overflow guests will stay at the Cliffs. I LOVE that our party will be the only ones at the Villas, which will make the entire trip so much more special. We will have the 300' of beach in front of the resort all to our selves. I plan on having a luau out there for either the welcome reception or the rehearsal dinner, and having a beach activities day one afternoon complete with sand volleyball, washers, water gun fights, and other games. And I think the wedding reception is going to be so intimate with our own space to ourselves.
I was VERY worried about room assignments; I always thought doing a seating chart for a wedding would be hard, so I figured that deciding which villas to put everyone in would be really difficult. I was surprised when we started putting names on paper, it really wasn't so bad. My FH and I will be in the 1 bedroom villa. We are putting my dad and step-mom with FH's mom and dad in the 2 bedroom. The 3 bedroom will be for my mom, my sister and her husband, and my brother and his wife. We are putting the rowdiest groomsmen and their dates/wives in the 4 bedroom, because it is the "party house". It has a pool table and the most mingling room and we figure everyone will end up spending the most time there (especially late nights) and since those guys are the most likely to be up late and "hosting" the party, it was a no-brainer. We are putting my bridesmaids and their dates plus his brother and his date in one of the 5 bedrooms, and his other groomsmen in the other 5 bedroom. (I am having 5 BM and he is having 10 GM.)
So that fills up the Villas with just family and the wedding party! Everyone else will be at the Cliffs. All of our guests are paying their room rates + the $115 AI rate per night. This simplifies everything for us and eliminates the need to pay a per person fee for the welcome reception, rehearsal dinner, or the reception.... or any other time for that matter. For the events we will have to pay to rent the tables and chairs, but I don't remember that cost off hand and I left my rates sheet at my mother's house. MDV is providing van transportation back and forth between the resorts as guests come and go. We will do most of the events at the Villas, but I may organize a pool side event at the Cliffs. And we will definitely utilize the spa there!
I love that each villa has its own butler and a chef that will custom make any meal the guests desire. If they want to eat lobster for breakfast every morning, they can have it! The only thing is that they have to decide what they want the day before, instead of ordering off a menu like at a restaurant. BUT, I think that this is an added element of luxury which sets this apart from any old "regular" vacation.
My FH and I went to Jamaica in December to check out the Villas and the Cliffs to make sure we were choosing the right venue. Not only are we very confident in our choice after seeing it, we also can't wait a whole year to go back! If I'm lucky, I'll be able to talk FH into going down there one more time before the wedding just to "finalize details." ;-) While we were there we met Oneika and loved her. She paid very close attention to detail and didn't even blink at our odd ceremony request (my FH wants to build a platform out on the water where we will stand for the ceremony) and said that she can find a way to make it work. (I'm very skeptical about doing this, but it's the only request he has for the wedding, so I'm willing to consider it.) However, I have hired a separate wedding planner in Houston named Debra Gullette of Designer Destination Weddings. (Designer Destination Weddings
) She has done a few weddings at Moon Dance already and is quite close to Oneika from the work they have done together, so between the two of them I am sure they will be able to coordinate everything beyond my wildest dreams.
I am not very far into the planning stages (just working on my STDs now) but I will come back here and post any details I have about MDV as I get them. The things I am pretty sure about already are: 1) I am going to use the simple arch the Villas do ($50) instead of the expensive florist-made arch. The MDV arch is very simple and elegant and I thought the pictures of the more expensive ones looked too busy. (I am a "less is more" kind of person.) 2) I will incorporate the steel drum in the rehearsal dinner (I think) and the sax for the wedding procession. 3) We will be using Misha Earle (Zenfolio | misha earle photography
) as our photographer. (She is an associate of Sungold Photography - who I loved, but they were on the expensive side, and when I came across her photos, I fell in love with her work!) 4) Our colors will be cream with accents of celedon. ..... hmmmmm ..... I think that's it, for now...
I hope more MDV brides will post pictures and details as they go!